The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: a falling knife has no handle by Emily O’Neill


& the kitchen fills with smoke
the night you swear / you’d break
Derek’s knuckles / for the shadow he left
his error, what sharing a roof smarts of
the broken escalator / pan spitting to sear
dry aged steaks / it’s past
the expiration for saying so / for stopping
lock receding into chamber / I sleep
here without careful supervision
I am the wine / tasting of cigars, dark
fruit / bear meat grows up from berries
& people too / we all cluster
around the hot light / call liquid bright
when it stings the tongue / call the mind
a trap closing & recognition its trigger

call me sear / shaking against cast
iron / it’s midnight & the oven hisses
as witness / I sleep here a cluster
of what tastes / best paired / the bottle
stands breathing / key in my pocket
offering each night on a tray

This selection comes from the poetry collection, a falling knife has no handle, available from YesYes Books.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Tierney Bailey.

Emily O’Neill teaches writing and tends bar in Cambridge, MA. Her second poetry collection, a falling knife has no handle, was released with YesYes Books in fall of 2018 and was one of Publishers Weekly‘s ten most anticipated poetry titles of the season. It was also longlisted for the Julie Suk Award from Jacar Press.  Her debut poetry collection, Pelican, was the inaugural winner of YesYes Books’ Pamet River Prize for women and genderqueer writers, as well as the winner of the 2016 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Series in Poetry. O’Neill is also the author of five chapbooks, most recently You Can’t Pick Your Genre (2nd edition Big Lucks, 2019). Her recent poems, stories, and essays have appeared in The Best Indie Lit New England Anthology, CutbankCatapultRedividerSalt Hill, and Washington Square, among many others. She holds a degree in the synesthesia of storytelling from Hampshire College.
Tierney Bailey is a Libra, a lover of science fiction and poetry, and studies Korean in her spare time. Currently, Tierney is an associate poetry editor at Sundress Publications, a copyeditor at Strange Horizons, and a freelance graphic designer. Tierney earned a Masters Degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Tierney is most easily found screaming into the void on Twitter as @ergotierney. 

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